Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals Set Opening Roster, Remove Lucas, Valera to Make Room for Hicks, Pena

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals Set Opening Roster, Remove Lucas, Valera to Make Room for Hicks, Pena

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - After making two moves they hope won't erode the depth they might need later, the Cardinals finalized their 25-man roster for Thursday's opening day at Citi Field.

To make room for Jordan Hicks, the 21-year-old reliever, and backup catcher Francisco Pena, the Cardinals removed reliever Josh Lucas and infielder Breyvic Valera from the team's protected, 40-man roster. Both players were designated for assignment. The Cardinals can attempt to trade either player, or see if they can slip through waivers and be placed on the Class AAA Memphis roster. Lucas had an impressive spring and remains positioned to be one of the closers for the Redbirds, while Valera is one of the few lefthanded-hitting utility fielders the Cardinals have in the organization.

"Both are tough decisions because we like the players, but they got caught up in the numbers game with the roster," wrote general manager Michael Girsch in a text message. "Obviously, we had to create spots for Hicks and Pena and happily we didn't have any candidates for the 60-day (disabled list). Josh, in particular, had a great spring training, which makes the decision that much harder."

In nine appearances for the Cardinals this spring, Lucas pitched 11 1/3 innings and struck out 12 against two walks. He did not allow a run. The angular righthander has a deceptive delivery that sets him apart from the blowtorch righthanders who populate the Cardinals' bullpen, and that different look had an appeal for the Cardinals. Lucas, 27, made his major-league debut this past year and threw 7 1/3 innings over five games with a 3.68 ERA. He had 17 saves for Memphis a year ago and would have shared the ninth inning with John Brebbia.

The Cardinals saw both as a phone call away if needed.

The front office mentioned Valera, 26, at the start of spring training as an underrated candidate for the final bench spot. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.